Khairy Jamaluddin says the government is focused on planning an efficient and effective vaccination immunisation programme. (Bernama pic)
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be the first person to receive the Covid-19 vaccine when the national vaccination programme is implemented in the country later this month.
This has been confirmed by science, technology and innovation minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
“Yes, I can confirm that the prime minister will be the first person to be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine to give confidence to the public that the vaccine is safe,” he said on Bernama TV’s talk show, “Ruang Bicara”, last night.
On Feb 4, Muhyiddin was reported to have said that the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme would start at end of the month with the government targeting 80% of the country’s population or 26.5 million individuals to receive the vaccine, to be conducted in three phases and that it will be given for free.
The first phase, from February to April, is for the 500,000 frontliners who are directly involved in the fight against Covid-19, while the second phase, from April to August, is for the high-risk group, comprising senior citizens aged 60 and above and the vulnerable group with morbidity problems, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as persons with disabilities (PwD).
The third phase is from May to February next year and it is for those aged 18 and above.
On complaints that Malaysians are getting the Covid-19 vaccine later than other developed countries and also neighbouring countries, Khairy said it was because the government is more focused on planning a more efficient and effective vaccination immunisation programme.
“We are not that late, like Australia, South Korea and Japan which are still studying (the suitability of the vaccine). I like to expedite the purchase and delivery process and so far, according to the agreement signed, we will receive (the vaccine) in February, “he added.
Khairy said Indonesia was able to get the Sinovac vaccine early because the republic was a testing ground, while Singapore also got the vaccine early because of its investment with Pfizer-BioNTech, which is the producer.
As such, both countries were given priority by the producers, he added. - Bernama